Founded in 2022 by four friends, Once Below Joy is an alternative/progressive rock band from Charlotte, NC. Each member plays a vital role in defining the bands sound and style which many fans find unique. With a desire to do their own thing, the band began writing original material almost immediately. By early 2023 they were ready to record and chose The Wav Lab studio in Fort Mill, SC to track what would become their first EP, Through the Fog. 

After this, playing the local scene became the focus to sharpen their sound and skills. At the end of year one, they have been fortunate enough to play many of the awesome venues in the area and were voted Best New Band in Charlotte by readers in the Queen City Nerve’s Best in the Nest series. Their initial success landed them bookings in festivals and other towns such as Greenville and Clemson SC, Kannapolis NC, Corbin, KY and Augusta GA. 

The band’s sound draws from their many influences as well as their own originality. Songwriting contains hints of the great classic and progressive rock bands, like Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, and Yes. But there is a strong correlation to more modern bands such as Coheed & Cambria, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Mars Volta. Upon seeing them perform, listeners often remark how incredibly ‘tight’ the band plays, which is a huge compliment for a group in this early stage. Seeing them perform, you can expect a stage with a full range of sound coming at you and great musicianship at every show.  

The official lineup includes: 

Jesse Griesman (rhythm guitar, vocals, synth) 

Skylar Wade (bass) 

Austin Collins (lead guitar) 

Wyatt Fregerio (drums, vocals) 


The backstory on how the band formed is an interesting one. 

Jesse and Skylar first met when playing in a recreational soccer league. Being around 10 years old at the time, the only way they stayed in touch was through XBox 360 messaging.  However, that was good enough to develop a friendship that still exist. Austin came along when he got a job working at a pizza delivery store where Jesse and Skylar also worked. Being typical 17 year olds, conversations would center around the interest of music from which they soon learned each of them played an instrument. 

That is all that was needed. The trio met up, practiced and decided to move forward as a band. Calling themselves “The Doughboys” due to their pizza connection, they worked on playing some covers and managed to book a couple shows. Austin’s brother-in-law, Raul, sat in on drums to help during this brief period.  

Around this time all 3 guys were also attending nearby York Technical College where fate would intervene. In one of Austin’s classes, students had to share their interest with the group. One fellow student took great notice upon hearing Austin tell of his love of music. Enter Wyatt Fregerio. The 2 strike up a conversation and the rest is history. Wyatt joins up and the lineup is solidified. However, now the name Doughboys, did not seem to fit since Wyatt was not in on the pizza job with the others. Deciding on a new name became a goal.  

Initially, practices were held at Wyatt’s house in a room located underneath the living area of Joy, his grandmother. Needless to say, she was not very fond of the loud noise produced by an early stages rock band. Having to move, they loaded up and relocated to the basement. This got the wheels turning and long story short, Once Below Joy was created. 

By early 2023, now armed with enough original material, they began the daunting task of getting started in the world of performing bands. Slowly but surely that first year took shape and as they enter their second year, things look very promising for the tight-knit friends.

Providing a voice for their generation with their songs and becoming a supporting member of the music community is the ultimate goal. So be on the lookout for ONCE BELOW JOY playing nearing you!